I’ll give the guys at Feelreal a pass because the VR market is only growing, so we may have to wait a decent amount of time before multisensory VR headsets don’t look like someone glued a toaster to your face. Its bulky design aside, the Feelreal is an attachment that adds an olfactory element to your VR experience. Compatible with the Oculus Rift, Go, HTC Vive, Samsung Galaxy VR, and the Playstation VR, the Feelreal snaps to the bottom of the headset, sitting right in front of the nose. It then releases smells that complement the media you’re watching by simulating, stimulating, or relaxing.
Compatible with a variety of games, movies, and multimedia content on platforms like YouTube VR, the Feelreal can generate a variety of aromas and smells, making you feel like you’re in the moment, whether it’s a forest, a race-track, or a battlefield. The Feelreal comes with a series of 9 aroma-vials that combine to create as many as 255 different types of distinct smells, from flowers and petrichor, to food, to grease or gunpowder. The Feelreal goes the extra mile by providing a tactile experience too! It comes with its own water-spray, microheater (to simulate heat) and fan (to simulate wind), adding different layers to your audiovisual VR experience.
Feelreal’s addition to VR opens up a world of opportunities. Designed not just for games and movies, the Feelreal can also be used for therapy/meditation or even in the culinary industry. The idea is definitely a novel one (and makes VR a truly multisensorial experience, as it should be), although I personally have issues with wearing a headset that practically feels like a brick tied to the front of my face… but that’s just because the concept and the backing technology is so nascent…